Moore Park is an oddity when it comes to Toronto neighbourhoods. An oasis of nature in midtown, the area is full of trees and greenery, creating a quiet, secluded outpost just minutes from the bustle of downtown. As the name suggests, the neighbourhood has parks found in most areas, but Moore Park is also surrounded by ravines that offer its residents a chance to commune with nature directly. In fact, many houses in the area back directly onto unspoiled wilderness.
Moore Park is bordered on three sides by the beauty of nature. The southern boundary is the Canadian Pacific railway tracks, but the northern boundary is Mount Pleasant cemetery. The beautiful cemetery — which is the final resting place for many famous Torontonians and holds many gloriously built memorials — also has miles miles of walking trails, along with fountains, statues, botanical gardens and many rare species of trees. It has become an extremely popular site not only for those interested in the history of Toronto and of architecture, but for those looking for a quiet place to walk and contemplate the city and its relationship to nature.
On its western and eastern edges, respectively, Moore Park is bordered by the evocatively named Vale of Avoca section of the Rosedale Ravine and by Moore Park Ravine, part of an eight-kilometre trail wending its way through the area.
To complement the abundance of greenery in the neighbourhood, many of the homes on the quiet tree-lined streets in Moore Park — mostly built between 1900 and the 1930 in in English Cottage, Georgian or Tudor-style — sit on large lots with views over the ravines. Mixed with duplexes, townhouses and upscale condominiums, Moore Park is a haven for those seeking peaceful country living in the heart of the city.
History and Social Profile
The neighbourhood was originally developed by politician turned land developer John Thomas Moore, who saw the area as a suburb for the wealthy. To encourage buyers, Moore constructed two bridges in 1891 linking the area to the rest of the city: a steel bridge on St. Clair Avenue over the Vale of Avoca Ravine, and a wooden bridge on Moore Avenue over what is now the Moore Park Ravine, known then as the Spring Valley Ravine. Moore was also responsible for promoting the Belt Line Railway, the city’s first commuter train. Sadly, the railway went bankrupt within 18 months. Today, the rail bed has been converted into the Kay Gardner Beltline Park, — a nature trail which follows the route of the original railway.
The rail bankruptcy hit Moore hard and delayed development of the area. But by the 1900s, Moore’s vison began to be realized, as the neighbourhood became a favoured destination for wealthy Torontonians. Moore Park officially became a part of the city of Toronto in 1912, and by the 1930s, the neighbourhood had become fully developed.
Today, along with the ravines and trails, Moore Park residents enjoy a number of actual parks, including the five tennis courts, actual tennis club and baseball diamond found in Moorevale Park, and the St. Clair Reservoir, a popular destination for dog walkers. As well, the Loring/Wyle Parkette is named after two famous Toronto sculptors: Frances Loring and Florence Wyle, known together as “The Girls,” both of whom died in 1968. Established in 1984, the parkette features busts of both women, each bust carved by the other artist.
- Brownes Bistro
- Pastis Express
- Capocaccia Café
- St. Clair Station
- Davisville Station
Buses or streetcars run on St. Clair Avenue, Mount Pleasant Road and Bayview Avenue.
- Deer Park Junior and Senior Public School, 23 Ferndale Avenue, 416-393-1550
- Northern Secondary School, 851 Mount Pleasant Road, 416-393-0270
- North Toronto Collegiate Institute, 17 Broadway Avenue, 416-393-9180
- Whitney Junior Public School, 119 Rosedale Heights Drive, 416-393-9380